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Board delays rezoning for townhouses

The Town Board took no action Monday on a request from a Canada-based global real estate development company to rezone 26 acres of land on Creek Road for a 102-unit "clustered townhouse" development.

International Business Consortium, with offices in Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ont., made its inquiry in a letter to the board, asking for the town to rezone the land from R2 residential to clustered housing, which the company says is currently allowed under the R2 designation.

The parcel of land is on Creek Road, near an apartment complex, the Woods of Blairsville on Washington Drive. The consortium said that it is fully authorized to negotiate and represent the current land owner, Alison Lilly

The board agreed to send the matter to the Town Planning Board, which meets Aug. 16.

Councilman Ernest Palmer, the liaison for the Planning Board, told The Buffalo News after the meeting that this request is still in its initial stages and would likely need to be discussed by both the Zoning Board and the Planning Board before any action could come back to the Town Board.

In another matter, the Town Board agreed to send a letter of support to the state Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit from 45 to 35 mph on a one-mile stretch of Upper Mountain Road east of the Tuscarora Reservation, beginning at Dennison Drive.

"I've lived in that area for 17 years," Councilman Sean E. Edwards said. "It used to be rural, but that's not the case any longer."

He said Upper Mountain Road west of the reservation already has a 35-mph limit and has nearly the same number of houses as the eastern section.

Councilman Alfonso Bax said he would also like a letter of support sent to the DOT to have the speed limit on Military Road, near Mount St. Mary's Hospital and near his home, lowered from 45 to 35 mph.

In another matter, the board heard Deputy Supervisor Evan E. Elgin read a letter from Supervisor Fred M. Newlin about the state comptroller's audit of the Niagara Power Coalition finances. Elgin was filling in for Newlin, who was married Saturday.

Newlin wrote that the report, which had called for more control over finances, vindicated the position taken by the Town Board. Newlin wrote that he had pushed for accountability within the Niagara Power Coalition for a long time and felt continually suppressed by the Niagara Power Coalition, finally demanding last year that the state comptroller's office and state attorney general examine coalition finances to give an accurate accounting of taxpayer dollars.

The board also honored retiring Police Chief Ronald R. Winkley and Officer John A. Penzotti.

Penzotti was honored as an Outstanding Citizen for stopping a man running away from a bank robbery on Pine Avenue in the City of Niagara Falls on April 21, 2006, while he was off-duty and wrestling with him as he tried to get in a cab.

The board honored Winkley as Top Cop for his years of service to the Lewiston police.

Winkley retired at the end of June, and Christopher Salada, a Lewiston officer and part-time Youngstown police chief, stepped in to fill his position.


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